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Mol Cell. 2010 Jun 11;38(5):746-57. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2010.05.026.

Systematic analysis of essential genes reveals important regulators of G protein signaling.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


The yeast pheromone pathway consists of a canonical heterotrimeric G protein and MAP kinase cascade. To identify additional signaling components, we systematically evaluated 870 essential genes using a library of repressible-promoter strains. Quantitative transcription-reporter and MAPK activity assays were used to identify strains that exhibit altered pheromone sensitivity. Of the 92 newly identified essential genes required for proper G protein signaling, those involved with protein degradation were most highly represented. Included in this group are members of the Skp, Cullin, F box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex. Further genetic and biochemical analysis reveals that SCF(Cdc4) acts together with the Cdc34 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme at the level of the G protein; promotes degradation of the G protein alpha subunit, Gpa1, in vivo; and catalyzes Gpa1 ubiquitination in vitro. These insights to the G protein signaling network reveal the essential genome as an untapped resource for identifying new components and regulators of signal transduction pathways.

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